About festival 2018

The MONTH of PHOTOGRAPHY in MINSK – 2018

The MONTH of PHOTOGRAPHY in MINSK is 18 exhibitions of photographers and photo collectives from 10 countries held in 7 venues of the capital, the audience of more than 500 000 people, an invitation to reflect on photography as a phenomenon, a tool and a topic for dialogues, discussions and experience exchange. For the fifth time in a row the festival team keeps the public “intellectually fit”– through unexpected concepts, projects coming from various parts of the globe and distinguished guests.

Since 2016 The MONTH of PHOTOGRAPHY in MINSK has been focused on a topic proposed by its team members: in 2017 the main exposition was organized around the issue of «collectivization», in 2016 – around the opposition «center/periphery». And we do hope to leave our public surprised this year, as well. Partly driven by the desire to remind the spectators of the original “memorable” function of photography, but also by an occasion to celebrate our own first 5-years’ anniversary, in 2018 The MONTH of PHOTOGRAPHY in MINSK announces the jubilee as its central topic.

The participants of the festival exposition in the new space of the legendary “Gallery Ў” in Kastrycnickaja Street approach the interpretation of the jubilee in various ways. It is analyzed as one of the milestones of human life, as a family celebration and an element of national cultures of different countries and continents: from Chinese wedding traditions of the 1985-2005s (Thomas Sauvin), a catalogue of Lithuanian registry office interiors (Vilma Samulionyte) and an archive of typical family holidays in Poland (Przemysław Pokrycki) to the exhibition held to mark the anniversary of Stanley Greene’s tragic death. As a part of the Minsk festival “Black Passport” is going to be shown – the most significant project of the American photojournalist reflecting his unique experience of as a witness and participant of the most important events that occurred on the territory of the former USSR, in Eastern Europe, Africa, South America and the Middle East in the course of the last three decades.

The central exhibition also includes the project “Lost Territories” by the Polish photo collective Sputnik, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2017, a large-scale series of photographer and ethnographer Edward Curtis – a collector of portraits of American Indians and images of the Wild West, – and an exhibition curated by the festival’s old guest Matthias Harder, whose interest lies in researching the theme of flowers in contemporary photography. For the first time The MONTH of PHOTOGRAPHY in MINSK shows an image from the project made by a Chinese photographer Zhang Kechun – the author of the sensational project and photobook “The Yellow River” in which he has put together photographs made during three years of travelling on a folding bicycle along the legendary Huang He.

The jubilee as a photographic theme in the projects of authors from Belarus and Russia, is presented in the archival exhibitions “59/82. Belarusian Photography Open Data” (curators – Antonina Stebur and Anna Samarskaya), “The Girls’ Night” (VEHA collective) and a photobook exhibition “Liberty Year” (curated by Alla Mirovskaya from “Russian Independent Selfpublished” collective). Thus, on one site the pictures reflecting the times of the amateur, photoclub, movement in Belarus of 1959-1982, archival wedding photos from Belarusian family albums and 13 photobooks that interpret the anniversary as “a special time for free meditation on important things” are going to be shown side by side.

For the first time in the history of The MONTH of PHOTOGRAPHY in MINSK, the main exposition is also available to the partially sighted people. The curator and activist Natalia Kovalevich, visually impaired herself, is organizing an inclusive route – by following it, one can get acquainted with the images by means of their sounds and smells.

Wedding traditions of the Belarusians are also a topic of the project “Belarusian Wedding: Rite, Medium, Song” (curators – Dzina Danilovich and Anastasia Danilovich) at the National Center for Contemporary Arts. The gallery of images borrowed from the collection of the cabinet of traditional musical cultures of the Belarusian State Academy of Music is accompanied by sound tracks – “voices” of the weddings captured in the pictures. As a part of the exhibition, the film “Radziwill’s Wedding” is going to be shown, too (cameraman – A. Glushko, photography – A.Mikus, video editing – D.Kostyukevich). Another project that touches on the theme of the wedding is going to be shown in Brest, in the “KH” space. Investigating the phenomenon of the Internet utilitarian photography, Roman Trotsyuk provocatively combines traditional wedding photographs with Suprematism elements.

The fifth MONTH of PHOTOGRAPHY in MINSK follows the traditions laid down at the festivals of the previous years. A new publication – the catalog with the works of Yuri Sergeyevich Vasiliev, the Belarusian photography classic, one of the founders of the “Photographica” festivals, a lecturer and a publicist continues the series of photoalbums of The Library of the MONTH of PHOTOGRAPHY in MINSK. As a part of the festival activities the public is also offered an extensive educational program: lectures, presentations and excursions by André Perlstein, Przemysław Pokrycki, Antonina Stebur and Anna Samarskaya, Alla Mirovskaya and Elena Kholkina. Those aiming to better understand their family archives and turn them into photobooks within the framework of The MONTH of PHOTOGRAPHY in MINSK a one-day workshop is held by the participants of the collective “Russian Independent Selfpublished”.

Information support – Belarusian portal TUT.BY, radio Unistar and online city magazine Citydog.by

With the support of the Embassy of France in Belarus, the Polish Institute in Minsk and the Goethe-Institut Minsk, the Gallery of contemporary art “Ў”.